Worcestershire partnership celebrates first birthday with plans to reach 10,000 homes and businesses by end of this year

Nine more areas set to ‘go live’ this year; 

Minister says partnership has boosted Worcestershire economy; 

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey, today praised the success of the £20 million Superfast Worcestershire programme as it reached its first birthday with plans to make fibre broadband available to 10,000 homes and businesses by the end of the year.

More than 1,400 premises in the county already have access to the technology as a result of the partnership between Worcestershire County Council and BT, which started engineering work at the end of May following careful surveying and planning.

And today Superfast Worcestershire has announced that parts of communities served by exchanges in Romsley, Wychbold, Bishampton, Inkberrow, Astwood Bank, Hanbury and Upton Upon Severn, will be the next to benefit from fibre broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps*. The technology will also be made more widely available in Bromsgrove and Droitwich, parts of which have already been included in the private sector’s commercial fibre broadband programme.

Openreach, BT’s local network business, has laid 60 kilometres of cabling and installed 14 broadband street cabinets and a further 46 are standing and in the process of being connected.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “Superfast Worcestershire has made excellent progress since rollout began a year ago and more than 10,000 homes and businesses will have access to superfast speeds by the end of 2014. I’d like to wish the project a very happy birthday, and thank them for their contribution to the nationwide transformation of broadband currently underway.”

Simon Geraghty, Deputy Leader of Worcestershire County Council said: “This latest phase in the project cements our commitment to getting more than 90 per cent of local businesses linked up to high speed fibre broadband. Worcestershire is a good business location and the roll out of high speed internet connectivity will ensure we can compete successfully in the future both nationally and globally. This anniversary is a key milestone in getting to where we need to go as a county and helping local businesses to be able to develop and grow."

Ian Binks, BT’s Worcestershire and West Midlands regional partnership director, said: “The rollout for Worcestershire is now well underway and I am pleased to report that we are ahead of plan. It has happened as a result of the hard work and dedication shown by the partners in this exciting project. This is proving to be a very effective partnership, which shows the great power of the public and private sectors working together to overcome challenges and deliver great benefits for the people and businesses of Worcestershire.”

The network is open to all fibre broadband suppliers on an open, wholesale basis, ensuring competitive prices for Worcestershire residents and businesses. Superfast Worcestershire builds on BT’s commercial fibre roll-out, which has already made the technology available to more than 170,000 premises across the county. Superfast Worcestershire is a partnership between Worcestershire County Council, which has invested up to £8.5 million, with an additional £8.9 million from BT and a further £3.35 million from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme.

Local people wanting updates on the fibre roll-out can visit the Superfast Worcestershire website at: www.superfastworcestershire.com and register for further updates, visit the Facebook page and join the conversation on Twitter #SuperfastWorcs.

Recent news for Superfast Worcestershire:
Enigma Business Park release May 2014
Malvern 99 per cent coverage release 1 August 2014

Note to Editors
*This is the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
Press Office Contacts
For more information please contact Worcestershire County Council please email:
commsunit@worcestershire.gov.uk or telephone: 01905 822058. For information about BT please contact the regional press office on 0800 085 0660. All BT news releases can be accessed at http://www.btplc.com/News

  • Worcestershire County Council is contributing up to £8.5 million, with an additional £3.35 million coming from the from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds through the Superfast Britain initiative (please see below). BT is also contributing £8.9 million towards the overall cost of the Superfast Worcestershire deployment, having been chosen following an extensive and thorough selection process.
  • Worcestershire County Council signed contracts with their preferred supplier BT on August 5, 2013. The partnership announced that high-speed fibre broadband will be rolled out to more than 90 per cent of Worcestershire homes and businesses over 2014, 15 and beyond and that all remaining areas will receive broadband with a minimum speed of at least 2Mbps.
  • Those who register on the Superfast Worcestershire website will need to enter a phone number and postcode to receive information and updates at a local level. Those who registered their demand will continue to be kept up to date on the programme and have the option of registering again to receive more local updates.

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:
• £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
• £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
• £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.
For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk